Bosses anxious about social networking

The figures come from the latest Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey that gauges the opinion of SME owners across the UK on a range of issues.

The survey revealed that over half of the UK workforce is permitted to use social networks during business hours, with almost a third of employees allowed to access social sites for personal use.

CEO of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, David Thomson, said: “Social media can be a mixed blessing, used well it can benefit your business enormously however, if used inappropriately, the consequences can be severe.

“The misuse of social media can lead to a range of problems in the workplace as what employees say or do in ‘private’ can have a lasting effect on the company’s online reputation.

“That is why it is vital that firms have a carefully considered social media policy in place; particularly during the festive season when staff may be tempted to post comments or photographs from Christmas nights out that are not in line with company policy.”

Mr Thomson added: “However, whilst business owners need to be aware of the impact that social media can have on their business, they should also note that there are many benefits of social networking. In fact, a recent study by Microsoft* revealed that nearly half of employees surveyed felt that their productivity has been increased through the use of social tools.

“It’s clear that social media is here to stay and so firms need to find ways to make it work for their business which includes ensuring they have appropriate policies in place to deal with any issues as they arise.”